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François Barraud | La Tailleuse de Soupe | Rustic Onion Soup

 François Barraud | La Tailleuse de Soupe In "La Tailleuse de Soupe," a painting from 1933 by François Barraud, we witness a scene imbued with mystery and a touch of surrealism, both characteristics that pervade many of Barraud's works. The title originates from the French verb "tailler" which means "to cut" or "to carve". This painting captures an intriguing domestic moment. A young girl, adorned with a large orange ribbon, sits at a table where a large steaming tureen of soup sits. She gazes at the viewer with a somewhat sullen expression, while across from her, her mother, seemingly in a cheerful mood, cuts slices of bread with a distinct smile. The narrative preceding this scene remains unknown. We're left to speculate what might have led to the young girl's mood, her refusal to watch the near-dismemberment of the loaf of bread that her mother enthusiastically carves into thin slices, presumably to accompany the hot soup soon to b

Rembrandt van Rijn | Danaë | Saffron and Orange Blossom Risotto with Candied Orange Zest

Rembrandt van Rijn | Danaë

"Danaë" is an oil painting by the Dutch master Rembrandt van Rijn, created in 1636. The painting measures approximately 185 x 203 cm (73 x 80 in) and is housed in the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia.

The subject of the painting is Danaë, a character from Greek mythology. She was the daughter of King Acrisius of Argos and the mother of the hero Perseus. According to the myth, Acrisius was told by an oracle that he would be killed by his grandson, so he locked Danaë in a bronze chamber to prevent her from becoming pregnant. However, Zeus, the king of the gods, fell in love with Danaë and impregnated her by transforming into a shower of gold, which penetrated the chamber and fell upon her.

In Rembrandt's painting, Danaë is depicted lying on a bed, bathed in a warm golden light, as the gold coins that represent Zeus rain down upon her. She appears to be welcoming the divine presence, with her arm outstretched and her body partially exposed. The painting is notable for its sensual atmosphere and its masterful use of light and shadow, which create an intimate and dramatic scene.



Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (1606-1669) was a Dutch painter and etcher, widely regarded as one of the greatest artists in European history. He was a prominent figure in the Dutch Golden Age, a period of exceptional artistic and cultural growth in the Netherlands during the 17th century.

Rembrandt was known for his innovative and evocative use of light and shadow, which added depth, emotion, and drama to his works. His skill in capturing the human soul and his ability to portray the complexity of human emotions set him apart from his contemporaries.

Throughout his career, Rembrandt created numerous self-portraits, which provide an insightful visual chronicle of his life. His oeuvre also includes a wide range of subject matter, from biblical scenes and historical events to portraits and landscapes.


Recipe: Saffron and Orange Blossom Risotto with Candied Orange Zest

Saffron, derived from the stigmas of the Crocus sativus flower, is a highly prized and expensive spice known for its unique flavor, aroma, and vibrant color. It has been used in cooking, medicine, and as a dye for textiles for thousands of years.

The origins of saffron cultivation can be traced back to ancient Persia (present-day Iran) around 3,000-2,500 years ago. The use of saffron soon spread across various ancient civilizations, including Egypt, Mesopotamia, Greece, and Rome. It was highly valued for its medicinal properties and as a symbol of wealth and luxury.

Iran is the largest producer of saffron, accounting for around 90% of global production. Other significant saffron-producing countries include India, Spain, Greece, and Afghanistan.


Candied orange zest

  • 2 oranges
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water


  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 pinch saffron threads
  • 1 tsp orange blossom water
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


Candied orange zest

  1. Remove the zest from the oranges using a vegetable peeler or zester, avoiding the white pith. Slice the zest into thin strips.

  2. In a saucepan, combine the sugar and water, and bring to a boil. Add the orange zest strips and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for about 20 minutes, or until the zest is translucent and tender. Remove the zest from the syrup and let it cool on a parchment-lined tray.  The orange zest can be stored in a closed container for several weeks.


  1. In a saucepan, heat the vegetable stock and keep it warm over low heat.

  2. In another large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent. Add the Arborio rice and stir to coat the rice with the butter. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.

  3. Add the wine to the rice and cook, stirring constantly, until the wine is absorbed. Stir in the saffron threads.

  4. Begin adding the warm vegetable stock to the rice, one ladleful at a time, stirring constantly and waiting until each ladleful is absorbed before adding more. Continue this process until the rice is cooked through and has a creamy texture.

  5. Remove the risotto from the heat, and stir in the orange blossom water and grated Parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

  6. To serve, spoon the risotto onto plates and garnish with the candied orange zest.

Additional information

During the time of Rembrandt, trade routes and the Dutch East India Company facilitated the exchange of spices, ingredients, and culinary techniques between Europe and other parts of the world. This global exchange led to the introduction of new flavors and cooking methods, which had an impact on the Dutch cuisine of the time.


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